Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The top quote from Sean Spicer's press briefing today: "One of the beauties of history is that we don't repeat itself." (Has he ever watched one of his press briefings?) Today's highlights...

  • Immigration executive orders: Spicer said that mass deportation is not the goal and that deporting criminals is "the number one priority." He said that with up to 15 million illegal immigrants in the United States, "the president wanted to take the shackles off individuals in the agencies [like DHS, ICE, and CBP]."
  • McMaster: Spicer said that Trump's new national security advisor H.R. McMaster has "full authority to structure the office as he desires," insinuating Trump would even consider removing Steve Bannon from the NSC's Principals Committee if recommended.
  • Obama administration's transgender bathroom guidance: "This should not involve the federal government. This is a states' rights issue."
  • Trump's visit to the Museum of African-American History and Culture: Trump especially liked the Muhammad Ali exhibit, featuring the quote: "I shook up the world."
  • On the Anne Frank Center's statement condemning the administration: ""I saw that statement. I wish they had praised the president for his leadership in this area...It's ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this that it's never good enough."

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Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.